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Women constitute a large portion of the economically active population engaged in agriculture. International instruments on human rights, the environment and sustainable development reaffirm the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of sex or gender. Yet women often face gender-related obstacles in realizing their rights and feeding their families. The right to an adequate standard of living, including adequate food, may thus not be fulfilled. These obstacles may stem from directly or indirectly discriminatory norms or from entrenched socio-cultural practices, or both.

This study analyses the gender dimension of agriculture-related legislation in a selection of different countries around the world, examining the legal status of women in three key areas: rights to land and other natural resources; rights of women agricultural workers; and rights concerning women’s agricultural self-employment activities, ranging from women’s status in rural cooperatives to their access to credit, training and extension services.


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